THE BLOG

Recycle Fashion

02/14/2012 01:56 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

I was inspired by a recent blog from Arianna Huffington promoting the idea of wearing a piece again and again without fear of fashion over exposure. If the garment is well made, inspires you, and well...clean, why not? Of course, this pushes the debate of disposable fashion and investment pieces. It is relatively simple to break down your lifestyle into a fashion pie and justify expensive purchases based on usage. Will you be wearing this item a few times a year or every week? Do you love this item enough to care for it properly over the years and make the investment work for you?

My example would be a Prada trench I bought in 2000 that nearly broke my bank at $1500. That trench has been worn every fall and spring since purchase with minimal dry cleaning and a million compliments...now do the math: 22 seasons multiplied by 20 wears per season divided by initial cost of $1500 equals $3.40 per wear and I'm still wearing it! I have a long sleeve t-shirt purchased for $20 from a bargain retailer that has been worn twice and the shape has been lost; so at $10 a wear...quality wins hands down.

The other question to pose when buying an expensive piece is what will be sacrificed or gained from this purchase...I love to travel so I tend to think: that coat is a round trip airfare to a place where I would be warm and not need it. However, investment pieces can also pay for themselves by the impression you give in an interview or during travel. To be judged immediately on your appearance is superficial but it happens...should you buy a great coat because it is the first and last thing people see you in at a party or a great suit because you need to apply authority in a business meeting as nothing is more immediately impressive than a sharp look.

This whole philosophy of buying pieces that are expensive and well made sounds like quite the long term money pit but don't be afraid to take the cheap road when warranted. When I travel to somewhere tropical I like to pack light both physically and visually...this is when a $9.99 three pack of white men's Hanes V-neck tee's never fail. They always look great with a tan and if you spill your margarita or sweat stain your way through the jungle...toss them out, investment well made.

Moral to the story is make educated choices and then be fearless in representing yourself even if you've already worn that moment... recycle your attitude and confidence as they have no cost but bring unmeasurable wealth.